Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died unexpectedly on Tuesday morning, the NFL announced. He was 85 years old.
"On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.
"Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today."
Madden started his coaching career as the Raiders' linebackers coach in 1967 and became the head coach two seasons later. Only 32 at the time, he was one of the youngest NFL head coaches in history. He led the Raiders to a 12-1-1 season in his first year at the helm.
Madden coached the Raiders to a 13-1 record in 1976 and won the AFC Championship Game over the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders then went on to defeat the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in Super Bowl XI. The footage of Madden being carried off the field became one of the most memorable images in NFL history.
The Hall of Fame coach retired in 1978 after coaching the Raiders for 10 seasons, finishing with a 103-32-7 record and .759 winning percentage.
After retiring from coaching, Madden and Pat Summerall formed one of the most famous broadcasting booths in NFL history. The two worked together at CBS before moving to FOX when the network acquired the rights to NFC football games. The pair called their last game in 2002 when Tom Brady and New England Patriots defeated the "Greatest Show on Turf" St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
After Summerall retired, Madden joined ABC's "Monday Night Football" and was paired up with Al Michaels. Madden and Michaels then moved to NBC's Sunday Night Football in 2006. Madden retired from broadcasting in 2009 with a record 16 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Analyst and Personality.
Along with being an outstanding coach and broadcasting star, Madden had a presence that made him one of the most recognizable figures in NFL history. He endorsed a number of products to help the NFL become the multi-billion dollar company it is today. None were perhaps bigger than the flagship football video game "John Madden Football" which still bears his name. The video game was first released in 1988 and with the help of Electronic Arts, it evolved into the top-selling football video game on the market with NFL players like Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson gracing the cover in recent years.
Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2006, but his impact on the sport grew far beyond the football field. For over 50 years, he was arguably one of the biggest names associated with the game.